Microchipping a Kitten: Everything You Should Know

Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
By Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, PhD
Updated: 6/4/20242-4 minutes
A kitten perched on their owner's knee

As a new pet parent to a sweet, little kitten, you want to do everything you can to keep them safe. One easy way to do this is to make sure your kitten is microchipped as soon as possible after bringing them home

Do Kittens Need to Be Microchipped?

The simple answer to the question, Should you microchip your kitten? is yes. In an emergency, even a kitten who is an indoor pet can become separated from their home or family. In this kind of situation, kitten microchipping provides an important connection that can reunite a lost kitten with people who are searching for them.

Benefits of Microchipping a Kitten

What makes kitten microchipping important? Whether your little feline friend enjoys an indoor lifestyle or spends some time outdoors, getting a kitten microchipped adds extra security and a potentially lifesaving link. If your future plans include traveling with your kitten, this can be especially important. 

A collar with an I.D. tag, which experts recommend for all cats, is an easy way to immediately identify your kitten as a pet, and to make ownership information easily accessible to anyone who might find them. While helpful in many situations, this form of identification can, however, become separated from your kitten. 

A kitten microchip implant, on the other hand, is inserted just under the skin. So, it stays with your kitten and can’t be lost. The size of a tiny grain of rice, it provides information for a registry where your ownership information can be found. As long as you register your kitten’s microchip and keep ownership information, including address and phone number, up-to-date, any veterinary office or shelter with a microchip scanner can access it and provide it to the person who finds your kitten. 

When Can You Get a Kitten Microchipped?

As a new pet owner, you might wonder at what age can a kitten be microchipped. As your kitten develops, an appropriate microchipping kitten age for most kittens is from 10 to 12 weeks and older. Some veterinarians, however, especially in animal shelters, may perform kitten microchip implantation as early as eight weeks. 

If you are wondering, When should I get my kitten microchipped?, talk to your veterinarian, your best source for guidance on when can a kitten be microchipped.

How to Tell if a Kitten is Microchipped

Once it’s inserted, you won’t see a kitten microchip lump. The microchip is invisible to the eye and shouldn’t be felt by your kitten.

Can you feel a microchip in your kitten? Yes, you might be able to feel the implant. Just feel between your kitten’s shoulder blades for something under the skin shaped like a long grain of rice. If your kitten has a healthy body weight and is microchipped, the implant is usually easy to find.

The other method for how to tell if a kitten is microchipped or not is to have them scanned by your veterinarian. If your kitten is found and brought to a shelter or veterinary clinic, scanning for a microchip is one of the first things the staff will do.

Does Microchipping Hurt Kittens or Cause Side Effects? 

Implanting a microchip in a kitten is quick and considered relatively painless. The microchip is inserted under the skin through a big needle, and the process takes about as much time as a vaccination. Sometimes there is an opportunity to implant a microchip while a kitten is anesthetized for spaying or neutering, but it can also be done during an office visit while your kitten is awake.

Because a microchip doesn’t have a battery or any moving parts, it should not affect your kitten. It remains inactive until it picks up the energy generated by a microchip scanner, so it will last a lifetime and will not need to be replaced. 

How Much Does Microchipping a Kitten Cost? 

The answer to the question, How much does it cost to get a kitten microchipped? varies from one veterinary clinic to the next, but the range usually runs from around $70 to $100. For most new kitten owners, the consideration of how much does it cost to microchip a kitten falls a distance second to what a microchip can mean if their kitten becomes lost.

If you adopted your kitten from a shelter, they may already be microchipped. Some shelters or rescues are able to offer free kitten microchipping or will include microchipping in their adoption fee.

How to Microchip a Kitten

Now that you’ve learned more about microchipping, your next question might be, Where can I get my kitten microchipped? Your best resource for where to get your cat microchipped, or your kitten, is your veterinarian’s office. You buy the chip there, and the veterinary staff implants it.

They will also provide you with the microchip manufacturer and identification number, plus other information you need to register your kitten’s microchip through an online registry. It’s essential that you go online and complete the registration process immediately, so that if your kitten becomes lost and is found, and their microchip is scanned by a veterinary clinic or shelter, you can be contacted and reunited with your furry family member.

Also, if you move or get a new phone number, remember to keep your kitten’s registry information updated. It’s one more way to help keep your kitten safe throughout their life, and, in an emergency, to help them find their way home.

For more expert tips on getting a kitten, explore our other getting a kitten articles.

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